Wrongfully Blaming Hackers For Rainforest Deforestation

from the blame-the-actual-logging-companies dept

Here’s an odd one. Apparently the folks at Greenpeace are claiming that a move to computerize the permit system for logging companies in the Amazon rainforest allowed hackers employed by the logging companies to issue fake permits allowing them to log well beyond their quota. However, it’s difficult to really see how the hackers or computerization really had much to do with this at all. Prior to that, the system was based entirely on paper, where it would seem much easier to forge a piece of paper. By moving it to a computerized system, if anything, it would seem to create a much better system for tracking and catching those that forge the permits. After all, any decent computer system should recognize if extra permits are being issued, or if they’re forged completely, then a quick check via the computer should show that the permits being used are faked. An entirely paper-based system would allow for no such simple check.

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Comments on “Wrongfully Blaming Hackers For Rainforest Deforestation”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hackers?

“Nature is the only entity that can judge the “right” amount of logging that should go on in an environment.”

I seriously hope you are trolling. That has to be the most asinine statement I’ve ever heard. We have alternatives to using wood in the majority of things now, and a cheap means to use them.

We simply don’t NEED wood anymore, but due to illegal logging there is so much supply its ‘cheap enough’ to make it worthwhile (meanwhile for consumers its a ‘luxury’ item).

And for what purpose? We don’t even fully comprehend the atmospheric effects that our logging has, though there is good evidence it isn’t good.

Also, you speak as if “nature” is an entity on its own right. News for you: it’s *passive*. Nothing will magically show up to stop us from killing ourselves, or killing entire other species.

Relatively speaking, humans are pretty powerful. We’re the only species (as far as I know) that can choose if another species lives or dies. With that kind of power comes a certain kind of responsibility. People really need to start growing up and accepting that responsibility, or it won’t just be an economic crisis we’re facing the next time around.

Droslovinia (profile) says:


AJ! Rush called and wants his pills back! Seriously, though, just because one group of well-intentioned but misguided people is saying a dumb thing doesn’t mean that the whole green movement should be indicted. That is, unless you “pro-lifers” out there are willing to give up because someone threatened a doctor; or the NRA is going out of business over a school shooting. There are nuts out there supporting every cause. That doesn’t mean that their cause is necessarily wrong, only that some people are nuts.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Huh?

Then you haven’t been looking very hard anywhere else. Nuts are everywhere. Right, left, center, and off-kilter. Doesn’t matter. Some people are so passionate about their cause that they complete eschew all reason and act like fools. There are plenty of nuts whose basic ideas I agree with, but I still can’t stand their obnoxious methods.

chris (profile) says:

where are the details on the hack?

the article is pretty light on the details about the “hack” are they sure it really was a hack and not some sort of fraud or other corruption?

also, if greenpeace knows that these systems are vulnerable, why not use the vulnerability to prove their point? i would think that flooding the system with millions of permits for single trees would illustrate that point nicely. funny thing about backdoors, there are seldom any controls on who can use them.

not all crime committed with a computer is hacking, not all hacking is crime with a computer. con artists commit crimes all the time with computers and do very little hacking. a corrupt employee abusing his or her position is not hacking either.

this lack of disclosure does no one any good, except those who are committing these crimes. secrecy is a big part of the hacking game: those who exploit vulnerable systems for profit do not want their methods or their targets exposed, and victims do not want their vulnerabilities or their exploitation exposed. this gives the exploiters a tremendous amount of power.

that’s the great thing about real hacking: if you share what you know, it takes the power away from the real bad guys that operate in secret.

Yakko Warner says:

Hackers again?

Hackers… is there anything they can’t hack?

Then again, maybe the yahoos at Greenpeace got confused when they heard about “hackers” and thought about people “hacking” at trees with axes.

When they heard the hackers were going to “log off”, well, that was just the last straw. “We need more trees, not logs!”

Juliette @ Greenpeace (user link) says:

Dont follow your reasoning...

So, since a paper track would be worse, hackers should avoid the blame? Some idiots get paid to illegally change government data, which gives illegal loggers more transport permits. Even if the hackers don’t cut the trees themselves, they can’t avoid all the blame. They’re helping a crime being committed.
The idea that it could be worse if computers didn’t exist is quite irrelevant: the fact is, they are there, and if they weren’t hacked into, this planet would be a bit better off.
I don’t have anything against hackers in general, but getting paid to destroy the planet takes off some glory, don’t you think?

Juliette, from Greenpeace International

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